Tawhidur Rashid speaks to Prito Reza about his humble beginnings and knack for a photograph

Besides taking amazing wedding photographs, Prito Reza is also known among his peers and followers for his showmanship. Make no mistake, he is blessed with the power of persuasion, which not many are gifted with, a quality which has enabled him to achieve feats, be it behind or in front of the camera. Hailing from Feni, a south-eastern district in Chittagong division, this dude has endured his fair share of ridicule for not being cool enough to be a city boy and sometimes even for his looks. To be more specific, his nose, which according to him is not sharp enough, probably costing him dates he was hankering after. But as he grew up, he learned (the hard way, of course) that one’s gotta work hard to make one’s dream come true.

During his university days, Young Prito followed his heart and started taking portraits for 20 TK each, which too earned him enough mockery. Thank god, those were not the days of social media, or Prito’s relentless effort to establish himself as a photographer would have been tarnished by social media trials in the form of trolls and memes.

Energetic and always eager to catch the pulse of the next big thing, Prito wanted to shine and started scratching all possible surfaces to find his holy grail. Right after his graduation from Pathshala, he landed photography gigs for newspapers. While the stints were earning him enough to make ends meet, Prito realized money cannot buy what he aspires to have: recognition as a trendsetter in the realm of photography.

Eventually, he realized the potential of the growing wedding industry and thanks to the rise of a more affluent middle class, photography too become an integral component of the industry, where Prito decided to excel as no one has ever thought of and boy did he conquer! The money came, and along with it – fame. However, none of it was a cakewalk. Definitely, there are other wedding photographers, who are lauded for their amazing clicks, but what makes Prito stand out is his uninhibited dedication to taking up photography as a career. The ambitious photographer is making photography popular among the youth so that they can carry the torch of the nascent industry forward.
His journey doesn’t end there. One might take him for a marketer. Prito kept trying out new frontiers; with television talk shows and motivational speeches at public programs under his belt, he is a young force to be reckoned with. In the overall process of becoming who he is today, besides change, there was one more thing that was constant in his life: naysayers.

His book, titled “Na” (in English, “No”) aims at pointing out how to ignore the jabs of naysayers and move on in life by sticking to one’s own ambitions and trying to make positive changes in the society.

Prito’s book makes a humble effort to shed light on the many different forms of “no” we grow up listening to on so many occasions. The book talks about more than 80 occasions/incidents, which are small in volume, written in a fluid manner and packed with small incidents and anecdotes, quite relatable to many of us. Then there are wallops which are sure to make readers ponder. In the age of social media, when everyone is overloaded with a plethora of information, the lack of attention span has compelled him to keep the chapters small and concise.

Prito doesn’t intend to sound like any other self-help book, which tries hard to motivate readers. Rather, he begs for the reader’s attention, to nudge their psyche. Interesting enough, this endeavor of Prito was met with criticism as well, with people questioning his motives. So how is he taking them on? The photographer turned writer has already made his position clear with several Facebook posts expressing his humble plea to read and then judge the book. What intrigued me was his enthusiasm while he was speaking about it. When asked if there will be a sequel, Prito, grinning from ear to ear, said, “I am not sure yet about that, but if there is one then that should be titled, “Haa” (in English, yes); the aim is to spread utmost optimism,” Prito chuckles. I don’t see any reason why we should not wish him all the best!

Photographer turned writer Prito Reza wants to emerge as an inspirational speaker. Tawhidur Rashid is all ears